The studio looks to be gearing up for next-gen development.
Having just shipped out The Last of Us Part 2 after years of development, Naughty Dog are taking a break before they move on to their next project. Whatever that ends up being remain to be seen, but obviously, the game they’re working on will be a PS5 title. It seems, in fact, that the studio is ramping up for development for the next-gen console.
Naughty Dog recently put up some new job listings (spotted by GamesRadar), and they suggest that the developer is at the very least in the initial stages of next-gen development. An ad for the position of Tools Programmer mentions work on “our next generation graphics analysis”.
The ad for Level / Environment Designer specifically mentions in its heading that the relevant project here is a single player one. This probably rules out that multiplayer-only The Last of Us game from this discussion (though it’s worth noting that Naughty Dog does have multiple teams that simultaneously work on multiple games).
Meanwhile, the listing for Melee / Gameplay Animator is pretty explicit in mentioning that Naughty Dog is staffing up to work on future projects. “We are looking for talented animators to help us create compelling gameplay for our future project(s),” the ad reads. “Work may include helping shape the hand-to-hand combat system and/or bringing the various enemy archetypes and supporting cast to life.”
The Last of Us Part 2 creative director and Naughty Dog vice president Neil Druckmann recently suggested that Naughty Dog’s next game could perhaps either be a new IP or The Last of Us Part 3, though he has also said that currently he does not have concrete ideas for how to continue the story.
Either scenario would be an exciting one for different reasons. We recently analyzed the ending of The Last of Us Part 2, and how (or if) it might be setting up a potential sequel. Meanwhile, if it’s a new IP Naughty Dog want to tackle next, we have some ideas about that as well.